Lab Technician

When you hear the phrase 'lab technician', you probably picture the medical laboratory technicians you've seen gazing into microscopes and exchanging quips with the doctors on TV shows like House, Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy.

But lab technicians aren't exclusively found in hospitals - they work in all sorts of different industries, from energy to manufacturing. Indeed, 'laboratory technician' is a fairly broad term that can apply to just about anyone who works with scientific equipment in a lab environment.

Lab Technician Job Description

As you'd expect, lab technicians work almost entirely within laboratories, where they carry out a range of tasks, tests and experiments. This could mean:

  • Analysing DNA samples for the police
  • Diagnosing diseases in a hospital
  • Testing foodstuffs to make sure they're safe for consumption
  • Developing new technologies and solutions
In addition to performing tests/experiments and recording the results, laboratory technicians are often responsible for the running and maintenance of the lab itself, too. A lab technician's more humdrum tasks might include cleaning test tubes, taking inventory, and labelling key items for ease of identification.

Job Requirements

In order to land yourself a lab technician job, you will generally need a degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Molecular Biology if you will be working with DNA samples).

As ever, relevant experience will make you more attractive to potential employers, but you will also need to prove that you possess the skills/knowledge necessary to carry out the tasks that will be assigned to you.

Salary

The average lab technician in the UK makes around £21,000 per year, but as with most roles, salaries vary depending on experience and line of work. Some laboratory technicians make upwards of £30,000 per year.

If you'd like to see some more specific lab technician job descriptions, please use the link below to browse the latest lab tech vacancies from Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

Browse All Lab Tech Jobs >

Outdoor Science Jobs

A degree in science doesn't mean that you have to spend your whole career sitting around in a lab all day long.

If you love science but prefer working outdoors, there are still plenty of possibilities for you to explore! Here are some outdoor science jobs that could be perfect for a person like you:

  • Environmental Scientist – An environmental scientist studies the effects of human activities on the world around us. They do this by conducting tests and analysing data as a means to both prevent and solve environmental problems. They gather samples and data in the field, then perform tests in a lab. As a result of increased pressure on governments and industries to minimise the harmful effects that their activities have on the world, the demand for this type of work is currently higher than ever.

  • Ecologist – An ecologist's job is to study ecosystems, the distribution of organisms, and the relationship between those organisms and their environment. They tend to focus on a particular subject area such as marine, freshwater or terrestrial ecology.

  • Geologist – The role of a geologist is to study processes of the earth (such as floods, earthquakes and landslides) and to survey land and produce safe building plans. They also investigate precious materials - such as minerals, metals, oils, water and natural gas - and come up with ways to extract them. A geologist is concerned with changes that occur over time such as land formation and climate change.

  • Biologist – The job of a biologist is to study organisms (such as bacteria, humans and animals) and their relationship with the surrounding environment. This helps us to better understand how the organism's body operates and how external factors impact each organism. Using basic research methods, a biologist will work to prove or disprove theories about how organisms work, as well as contributing to the discovery of medicinal advancements such as developing new fruits and vegetables that are less prone to nuisances and pests.

  • Patent Attorney – A patent attorney's job requires both scientific and legal knowledge, focusing on the protection of technology through the obtaining of patents. As a patent attorney, you will assess whether inventions are new and innovative, lead individual inventors or organisations through the process required to obtain a patent, and then act to impose inventors' rights if patents have been impeded.

This is just a sample of the many available outdoor science jobs that are (mostly) based outside of the traditional lab setting.

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we strive to help every individual find their perfect science role, whether that be in a lab or the great outdoors. For career advice, job-hunting guidance or further information on our outdoor science jobs, please do not hesitate to contact us today - or use the link below to view our latest scientific vacancies.

Browse All Current Jobs >


Scientist Quiz

Clinical Science Jobs

The role of a clinical scientist is extremely important. They are responsible for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of illnesses, medical conditions and diseases.

As a clinical scientist, you’ll more than likely find yourself working within a laboratory environment, undertaking complex data analysis and utilising sophisticated software to analyse tests and results. You will work as part of a team containing a variety of specialist skill sets, such as doctors, nurses and biomedical scientists who offer professional advice, interpretation of medical results and appropriate testing methods. All of these play a fundamental role in research and the development of new drugs.

Browse our latest clinical science jobs here, or read on to find out more about this line of work.

Roles

Within the laboratory, a clinical scientist may specialise in a variety of different areas, such as:

  • Microbiology – This is the study of microbes such as viruses and bacteria, conducted to aid in the diagnosis, control and prevention of diseases and infections.

  • Genomics – The study of genetic mapping and DNA sequences to enhance the early diagnosis and inherited traits and diseases.

  • Blood Sciences – Studies focus on the chemical processes within living tissues and cells such as proteins and DNA.

  • Transplant Sciences – Involves ensuring that donated organs are correctly matched to recipients and working to reduce immune-rejection.

Each of these specialist subjects involves various activities and responsibilities. Depending on your chosen area of work, duties could include researching, developing and testing new approaches for diagnosing and treating conditions; creating and following protocols and quality control methods to ensure reliable and accurate results; or interpreting results and creating reports for colleagues to provide patients with therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic information, as well as treatment options.

What you’ll need to be a clinical scientist

Qualifications

In order to become a clinical scientist, you will need:

  • A degree in life sciences, engineering, physics, or related to medicine
  • The completion of the 3-year NHS Healthcare Scientists Training Programme (STP)
  • Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Skills & Abilities

Obviously, clinical science workers require certain specific skills and abilities in order to perform successfully. The most important competencies include:

  • The ability to demonstrate strong experimental and analytical skills
  • Incredible attention to detail
  • The ability to be thorough and present findings in a coherent manner
  • The ability to work well within a team and communicate effectively
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • The ability to interpret information in a precise and accurate manner

The clinical science industry is a complex and ever-changing field that requires the very best individuals in order to move forward. We at Hyper Recruitment Solutions are very experienced clinical science recruiters, and we have a great passion for helping scientists find their perfect roles.

Use the links below to learn more about the clinical science industry, or to apply for clinical vacancies online.

Clinical Science: Learn More >

View & Apply for Clinical Science Jobs >

The gender gap present in STEM careers is a persistent one. While other industries have seen the balance between men and women begin to improve, the shortage of women within STEM continues to prevail with women making up only 14.4% of STEM workers in the UK. So, why aren’t there more female scientists? It’s not an easy question to answer, and a number of in-depth studies examining the STEM gender gap have reached the same resounding (yet unsatisfying) conclusion: it’s complicated.

To really comprehend the gender gap in STEM careers, we need to look at multiple strands, ranging from socialisation to confidence. The following 3 reasons can help us understand the gender gap in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

1. Socialisation & Gender Stereotypes

Gender roles are generally understood to be the associative qualities, abilities and behaviours we link to a person’s gender. From colour-coded toys (pink for girls, blue for boys) onward, the divide between male from female starts at a young age. So how does this socialisation affect the gender gap in STEM industries?

Well, one study found that by the age of 6, girls are already 52% more likely to associate being 'really smart' with boys rather than girls.

These preconceived notions of intelligence, as well as the idea that there are 'girl subjects' and 'boy subjects', are bound to have a knock-on effect on the number of girls even considering pursuing STEM academically. The impact of this is reflected in university stats; in the USA, for instance, just 35% of STEM graduates are female.

2. Confidence

Confidence may be a key factor in understanding why there aren’t more female scientists. It is human nature to follow that you believe is most likely to end in success. There is a wealth of evidence to indicate that, once you remove social factors from the equation, there is no significant qualitative difference in scientific capability between the sexes – so the male majority in STEM fields can't simply be chalked up to innate scientific ability.

However, males generally display a higher level of confidence in their own scientific competence. This is a likelier explanation for the male-dominated workforce within the science industry.

3. Misconceptions & Disadvantages

It seems that there are a high number of women with the ability to pursue a science-based career who – for whatever reason – don’t choose to go in that direction. Even when women qualify to work within scientific fields, the turnover and drop-out rate of women in STEM fields remains high.

This may be partially explained by some of the misconceptions that surround the STEM industry, as well as the very real disadvantages that some women face. Childcare and maternity leave, for example, are frequently cited as deterrents for women who might otherwise have been interested in pursuing a career in science. Many countries aren't very accommodating towards women who require maternity leave, and this - combined with the general feeling that such a male-dominated industry will not be understanding about maternity requirements - can put female scientists off in a big way.

We hope this blog has helped you to understand some of the reasons why there aren’t more female scientists currently working in STEM industries. This gender gap isn’t an unchangeable state of affairs – many organisations are already working hard to get more girls interested in science and technology from a young age, and this hopefully means that there’ll be an influx of female scientists in the near future. Every little helps, and every woman who enters the STEM industry closes the gender gap a little bit more.

If you’re looking to start a career in STEM, you'll find science, technology and engineering job listings right here on the HRS website.

Browse all current vacancies >

IS&T Sector

Information Systems and Technology is a rapidly-growing sector and has been for many years.

Commonly known as IS&T, many different jobs exist within this field, with more and more continually emerging through the evolution and growth of the industry. From Software Development to Data Management and Cyber Security Engineering, there are all kinds of IS&T roles for all sorts of different people.

But what are the skills needed to work in the IS&T industry and to become successful within this sector?

With such a broad range of roles available, employers within the IS&T industry look for a variety of different skills when seeking out new recruits. Some may seek candidates with expertise in a specific programming language or piece of software, while others may look for a more generic skill set. Here are just a few examples...

Key IS&T Skills

  • Communication – Contrary to the stereotypical view of IS&T professionals as socially-awkward introverts who struggle to talk to other human beings, communication skills are actually imperative within the IS&T industry. This is due to the cross-departmental nature of many roles within the field, where individuals are needed to work across many groups and teams. IS&T professionals often have to supply technological solutions for individuals who lack their expertise, and they are often called upon to discuss problems and solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Additionally, IS&T professionals are often expected to present ideas and reports to other individuals and groups within the business they work in, again requiring good levels of communication.

  • Time Management – Many professionals within the IS&T sector are required to be self-motivated and self-managed, and a huge aspect of being self-managed requires the ability to have excellent time management skills. Work may often take longer than planned to complete; therefore, as an IS&T professional, you should be able to accurately evaluate how long a specific assignment is going to take to finish and then have the ability to stick to deadlines, whether that’s on a daily, weekly, monthly or task-by-task basis.

  • Coding – Coding is one of the very basic skills that any IS&T professional should possess, as it’s a skill that the vast majority of employers in this sector look for. If a business is looking to hire a programmer, the employer may seek an individual who is competent in multiple languages. Even for roles that may not specifically involve coding, an IS&T candidate should at least have a working knowledge of the simpler coding languages (such as C++ and HTML) and an understanding of the code-writing process in order to participate in software development projects and manage things such as quality assurance. Coding, however, requires more than just aptitude with languages - it requires logical thought, good problem solving skills, the ability to utilise various technologies, and of course an extensive understanding of information systems.

  • Networking – Networking is an extension of communication and concerns the ability to gather groups of people within a working environment to share the things that they know. This is done in order to shape a system of knowledge that is bigger than the parts within it.

These are just some of the many, many skills that a candidate looking for a position within the IS&T industry may be expected to have. Some roles require more specific skills; it is therefore recommended that, before you apply for any IS&T role, you read the full job description and are aware of all the skills required.

View & Apply for IS&T Jobs >

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